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Easily accessible from many cities throughout the U.S., the eighty one mile stretch known as the Riviera Maya is situated in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Beginning eleven miles south of Cancun International Airport in Puerto Morelos, the Riviera Maya extends to Tulum, one of the most important archeological sites in the Mayan World.
The region features the tranquility of uncrowded beaches, a vast network of underground rivers, over 100 cenotes, the action of eco-adventure sports including kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, trekking, bird watching and deep sea fishing, proximity to many of Mexico’s most significant Mayan archeological sites, the varied activities of the eco-archeological parks, plus golf courses, spas, shopping, gourmet dining and a range of accommodations to suit every lifestyle and budget.
The Riviera Maya has been named a Top Destination in Mexico for seven years by Travel Weekly, awarded with The Best Destination in Mexico by Crystal Apple Award 2008; one of the hottest beach destinations by Orbitz in 2008 and was also featured in the January 2006 issue of Travel + Leisure as “The Next Riviera.”
Playa del Carmen, Mexico is one of the most charming spots on the Mexican Caribbean and a hub from which to visit the stellar attractions of the Riviera Maya. Playa del Carmen is a radiant city in the middle of the country blessed with a blue, cloudless sky and the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Located in the heart of the Mayan world — 42 miles south of Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo — Playa del Carmen has a semi-tropical climate, making it popular for aquatic activities such as diving and exploring beautiful coral reefs.
The growth of tourism has been unprecedented here, as it was still a small village 15 years ago. Its original name is Xaman-Ha, and it has grown from a small fishing village into a cosmopolitan city with outdoor restaurants, bars, designer shops, boutiques, and craft markets. One of the world's favorite tourist destinations, life in the city has an international flavor, thanks to the many visitors who fall in love with the area and come back to live here.
On the narrow streets of Playa del Carmen, visitors will find restaurants with signature cuisine and exclusive boutique hotels, which have been covered by the world's most famous travel magazines. Hotels in Playa del Carmen abound and range from luxury properties to smaller hotels and inns. It is also a great place to camp and enjoy golf and natural attractions suitable for ecotourism.
Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue, is the most important commercial, cultural, and social center in Playa del Carmen. It's where colorful shops, grand hotels, and beautiful squares bring tourists and residents together.
If you are visiting Playa del Carmen and plan to dive, cross over to the nearby island of Cozumel. There, you will find the Cozumel Reefs National Park, including the Gran Arrecife Maya (Great Mayan Reef), part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and considered the second largest in the world.
Among the most memorable experiences that await include sailing, kayaking, fishing from a luxury yacht, traveling to the archaeological remains of Tulum, or visiting cenotes (from the Mayan word for a sinkhole formed by a collapsed cave ceiling) in the surrounding villages.
Playa del Carmen is breathtaking with its beautiful beaches and Mayan culture fused with modernity, which is evident on every street corner.